Sample Term Paper
In the novel, The Go-Between, L.P. Hartley had written these memorable words: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” The very same words come to one’s mind, as one leafs through Prof. Lee’s “InsideCloudCuckooLand,” containing his translations of Korean poems and short stories, as well as some of his essays.
In its present form, modern Korean literature was heavily influenced by the social and political developments taking place in the region in general, and within the country in particular, and hence one can notice distinct shades of history in Korean literature, as the country moved from being a monarchy to a Japanese suzerainty in 1910, oscillating and vacillating between the different extremes of Japanese colonial administration for the next 35 years, and eventually emerging as a liberated-but-bi The book is almost history in motion, as it brings together Prof. Lee’s essays and his translations of Korean literature –written during the years of Japanese occupation (1910-45), and the years following the country’s unfortunate division along the 38th parallel afterJapan’s defeat in World War II (1939-45). Sadly, for Prof. Lee, the day of his country’s liberation,August 15, 1945, is also the day his country stood divided in geography and spirit. He, thus, masterfully uses his essays and the translations contained within this book to give the Western readers a better idea about the effects that this development had on the Korean nation – people with a long history of a national sense of belonging – and what he, as an intellectual, thought of it. (Lee 38)
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